INDEPENDENCE — Move up and they will have a shot at Kansas small forward Andrew Wiggins, Duke small forward Jabari Parker or Jayhawks center Joel Embid.
Fail to get lucky and they’ll likely be choosing between guys like Creighton power forward Doug McDermott, Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, Duke small forward Rodney Hood and shooting guards Gary Harris (Michigan State) and Nik Stauskas (Michigan).
That’s what is at stake for the Cavaliers tonight in the NBA Draft Lottery.
Cleveland, which had the ninth-worst record in the league at 33-49, has a 1.7 percent chance of getting the top pick, a 2.0 percent chance of choosing second and a 2.4 chance of selecting third in the NBA Draft.
The Cavs also have an 81.3 percent chance of staying at their current No. 9 position, a 12.2 percent chance of picking 10th, a 0.4 percent chance of selecting 11th and a miniscule chance of falling all the way to 12th.
General manager David Griffin will represent the team onstage in New York, while minority owner Jeff Cohen will be backstage where the actual selection order is determined.
The previous three years, Nick Gilbert, the son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, represented the team onstage. The Gilberts will not be attending the proceedings tonight.
Cleveland won the lottery in 2011 with a pick it acquired when it traded Mo Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers had the eighth-worst record in the league that season, but the 2.8 percent chance of getting the top pick hit the jackpot, leading to the selection of Kyrie Irving.
The Cavs’ own record (19-63) was the second-worst in the league that season, giving them a 19.9 percent chance at the top pick. They wound up selecting fourth with that pick and took Tristan Thompson.
In 2012-13, the Cavs’ 24-58 record was the third-worst mark in the league, but they won the lottery with a 15.6 percent chance and took UNLV’s Anthony Bennett.